Over at The Distributist Review John Medaille has a thoughtful article which largely discusses the distinction between being merely anti-abortion as opposed to thoroughly pro-life. Someone who is pro-life, according to Medaille, should also be pro-family wage, pro-natalist, pro-just war, and so forth. Unfortunately Medaille veers a bit off course toward the end with a diatribe against the Republican Party for its limp-wristed approach to pro-life issues, as if the Democratic Party warrants a free pass. While it is true that Republicans have come up painfully short in delivering on their promise to end (or at least curtail) legal access to abortion, let no one forget that Democrats (i.e., contemporary American political liberals) have worked tirelessly for decades to promote abortion in not only the United States, but around the world. The fact that Democrats, by and large, support centralized entitlement programs, transfer payments, and thicker market regulations than Republicans in no way, shape, or form exonerates them from helping to perpetuate one of the greatest horrors in human history.
Although Medaille does not come right out and say it, it is not difficult to read his piece as lending a tacit endorsement for the contestable claim that Democratic policies by and large align with the tenets of Catholic social teaching (CST). (Whether or not Medaille personally holds such a view is not altogether clear, however.) But where in CST does one find direct support for the bloated administrative state and the centralization of power in the federal government? Granted, the Republicans do not do much better on this front, and the more libertarian wings of the party often directly oppose principles of CST such as a just wage and solidarity in the name of “freedom of contract.” At the close of business, it has to be admitted that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans carry the principles of CST deep in their hearts, preferring instead to march to the bloody beat of late-modern secular liberalism.
None of this is to say that Medaille’s instincts are not in the right place. With the election cycle well underway, no doubt many Catholic (and other Christian) voters will be tempted to follow the elephant in the (long) hope of gaining back some of the ground lost in the “culture wars” of the past decade or so. Battling back that temptation, however, should not come at the grave price of supporting a party that has fought vigorously for decades against the most basic tenets of the natural law. Now is the time for all Christians to seriously reflect upon the fact that when it comes to present-day America, we have no political home.